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British journalist evacuated from Syria

British journalist Paul Conroy was evacuated from Homs on Tuesday. (AFP/YouTube)

New York, February 28, 2012--British photographer Paul Conroy, wounded last week during a mortar attack on the central city of Homs, was evacuated on Tuesday, according to his newspaper, The Sunday Times, and news reports. 

Conroy was smuggled into Lebanon by opposition activists who came under artillery fire, according to news reports. Initial news accounts reported casualties among the activists. Conroy sustained three leg wounds during Wednesday's shelling on a makeshift media center the journalists was working from in Baba Amr.

The French newspaper Le Figaro said this morning it could not confirm the status of its reporter Edith Bouvier, who sustained a broken femur in the same attack, which also killed international journalists Marie Colvin and Rémi Ochlik. Intensive efforts have been made to evacuate the wounded and killed journalists since the shelling.

"We are relieved that photographer Paul Conroy is now able to receive proper medical attention, but we are concerned about our other colleagues," said Mohamed Abdel Dayem, CPJ's Middle East and North Africa program coordinator. "We're outraged at the Syrian government's callous obstruction of humanitarian aid to civilians in Homs."

Homs has been under intense shelling for more than three weeks, with hundreds killed and thousands injured, according to news reports. Repeated calls for an immediate cease-fire have failed, which continues to complicate the rescue efforts.

In all, eight journalists have been killed in Syria in the last four months, CPJ research shows. On Friday, a Syrian videographer Anas al-Tarsha was killed in Homs while filming a bombardment. A week earlier, another Syrian videographer, Rami al-Sayed, was killed in Baba Amr. 

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